Vogmask Review

As someone with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), I’ve developed chemical sensitivity. Basically, if I am around any harsh chemical smells, I tend to react adversely. Reactions vary from migraines, rashes, hives, flushing, asthma, burning mouth syndrome, or feeling faint. This is especially difficult in social situations, or while on public transport. Having to step away from a conversation because I physically can’t handle the amount of perfume or cologne the person is wearing, or, switch hotels numerous times until finding one that doesn’t use deodorizers to ‘mask’ smells and other toxic cleaning solvents is not something I look forward to in my day to day interactions.

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Behind the Masks: A Guide to Personal Anti-Pollution Masks and Respirators, By Ariel Leigh

For a device that does much to obscure the face, anti-pollution masks (also called “courtesy masks” or “respirator masks") are rapidly gaining in mainstream visibility. In March of this year, Vox published an article with the headline: “As air pollution gets worse, a dystopian accessory is born.” In perfect synergy, research indicates that the incidence of allergic diseases (including asthma and mast cell) has also increased globally in most industrialized countries. Poor air quality is damaging no matter who you are, but moderate levels of air pollution, pollen or other airborne agents can be outright lethal to persons who are impacted by allergic diseases as well as immunocompromised persons.

(Note: there are other reasons that a person may choose to wear a mask; all intentions to preserve health are valid.)

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imaware™ At-Home Rheumatoid Arthritis Test Review

I have been diagnosed with, and have been treating my autoimmune diseases since 2007, which is when I was fist diagnosed with POTS. I was later diagnosed with other autoimmune diseases. I had wondered and worried about rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as I have experienced some of the symptoms (pain in my joints). In addition to knowing that it affects women twice as much as men, and that there are 1.3M undiagnosed Americans. I knew that if I am able to detect it early enough, I can also treat it early enough to prevent long-term damage.

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imaware™ Celiac Disease Test Review

We were excited to find out about imaware™, and how easy, convenient and inexpensive ($99) it would be to screen him for celiac disease, before making an appointment with a gastroenterologist. They are able to test for four celiac disease biomarkers (including tTg-IgA aka “the screening gold standard”) by using just a few drops of blood, and without any doctor’s prescription or leaving your home. And unlike many at-home testing companies, they utilize their own lab equipment and dedicated staff at a CLIA certified lab, rather than contracting out the whole process, allowing for quicker turnaround times.

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Five TREATYOSELF Gluten-Free Goodies!

When I found out I could no longer eat gluten I was simultaneously relieved that there was finally an answer to my health issues and devastated that I could no longer eat freshly made, still-warm flour tortillas.

The past few years have been tough getting used to this unwanted lifestyle, but luckily there are so.many.gluten.free.treats. I get so excited when I see a new product to try! Even when traveling, I research the hell out of gluten free eats to see what I can enjoy. It actually makes eating out much more fun.

After much trial and error, I’ve come up with a list of my top 5 favorite #treatyourself goodies. Key word is TREAT YO SELF so don’t judge me ;)

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Nima Gluten and Peanut Portable Sensor Review and Interview

When I first heard of this device, I thought it was too good to be true, but turns out… IT IS TRUE AND IT IS GOOD. I took it to task with a blueberry rice muffin from a local natural food store. Although they don’t specify ‘gluten free’ on the label, all of the ingredients are gluten free. But as we know, considering the muffins are in their fresh-bakery section, there is real risk for cross-contamination. Using Nima is as easy as 1-2-3, literally. It’s a 3-step process. You can be confident it works, knowing the National Institute of Health (NIH) backs it up and that it can detect at little as 20ppm of gluten. As a bonus, it’s FSA/HSA reimbursable, to cover the cost of the capsules! 

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World Nomads Travel Insurance

I do not travel without Traveler’s Insurance. I am happy to see how much it benefited me while in, and after returning from Mexico. Here is more info on it:

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SelectWisely's Allergen-Friendly Translation Cards

Allergen Friendly Translation Cards are extremely helpful to carry around while traveling, so that the person serving you food, or offering you any service is aware of your allergies or restrictions. The translation isn’t a simple Google Translation, but rather in terms the person from that country will understand. Also, no one wants to purposefully make your dining unpleasant, and this will take away the potential for much back and forth confusion. Keep in mind that you are their guest too. Click HERE to learn more!

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A Delicious Review of Gluten-Free Boar’s Head Brand Products

I tend to avoid any packed deli products, simply because I assume they use fillers and ingredients with unpronounceable names. Well, to my utmost surprise and convenience, I recently discovered that Boar’s Head doesn’t just have a few gluten-free items, but even better, ALL of their products are certified gluten-free! This includes their many types of meat, cheeses, hummus spreads, and condiments. I also love that I can recognize and pronounce every listed ingredient. I decided to try and review a smorgasbord of their products. Here are my thoughts…

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10 Best Gluten-Free / POTS Friendly Travel Snacks

Seldom do I leave the house without having at least a few snacks with me. Celiac Disease, on top of POTS (aka I need a lot of salt to maintain healthy blood pressure), requires salty, nutritious snacks, and quite a bit of fluid to maintain a healthy blood volume. When traveling, a decent portion of space is dedicated to both my carry-on and regular suitcase just for snacks. The carry-on snacks keep me moving, in case there is no food to meet my dietary restrictions in the airport, and/or on the plane. The snacks in my suitcase are useful, especially if I don’t know what the food will be like where I am going. These also serve as a great backup option in case I need to get my calories in or simply have a craving for one of these delicious snacks:

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Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers Review

I was excited to try the new Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers. Why? I am a Celiac with POTS who needs to regularly eat both healthy and salty protein snacks in order to feel optimal. As someone who is always on the go, I also need an easy go-to snack. These crunchy baked crackers encompass all of that and more. They are certified gluten-free, soy-free, whey-free, vegan, non-GMO, kosher and are packed with 5 grams of vegetable protein and 17 grams of whole grains, with just 1 gram of sugar in every serving. In knowing this, the next question was, ‘what about the taste?’

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Buddy's Allergen-Free Cakes Product Review

I've been meaning to bake and try a few of Buddy's Allergen-free cakes but didn't have a working oven, and we don't own a microwave. Well, our oven is sort of fixed now, except it cooks food in a third of the amount of time (ugh). Anyway, the cakes just require mixing with oil and milk (we used Brandless Life organic coconut oil and Pacific Foods cashew milk), baking for 10 min (3 minutes in our oven) or for one minute in the microwave, and spreading some of their scrumptious frosting on top.

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